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Pro Bono

Access to Justice
Fellowship Programs

Kathleen A. Buck Loan Repayment Assistance Program

Indiana Law may be the only law school in the country with a unique three-tiered LRAP program targeting loan reduction and repayment. For more than 12 years, Indiana Law’s LRAP One program has enabled rising third-year law students to apply for and receive public interest scholarships between $5,000 and $8,000 for their third year of school, allowing them to reduce their reliance on loans.

We think this program is particularly good for students who demonstrate an unyielding focus on public interest while in law school, through action and involvement. The program not only helps reduce the principal on existing loans, but also eliminates the interest additional loans might have accrued. Recently, the School initiated an LRAP Two program. LRAP Two provides fellowships to students who will embark on public interest work in the public interest upon graduation. Again, these fellowships are generous at the same level of support (from $3,000 to $8,000).

Indiana Law is currently working through details to launch LRAP Three, a third, more traditional repayment program. This program will aid graduates working in public interest positions in making their monthly student loan payments. These programs, coupled with a special summer fellowship program and a Legal Services Office Fellowship ($4,000 available to a second- or third-year student working in Legal Services), reflect Indiana Law’s high level of commitment to students with public interest aspirations.

More about Kathleen Buck and the program

The Kathleen A. Buck Loan Repayment Assistance Program supports and assists Indiana Law graduates who choose careers in public interest law and aids public interest employers in recruiting and retaining talented and experienced lawyers by relieving the burdens imposed by rising student debt loads. An Academy of Law Alumni Fellows member and a beloved 1973 alumna, her work in the public interest was recognized by countless organizations before her death in 2001, Buck’s bequest shines a positive light on a legal profession that needs talented lawyers to represent underserved communities.

Skadden Fellowships

Skadden Fellowships

What are they looking for?

The focus of Skadden is to “groom” the next wave of public interest attorneys. Skadden seeks to provide “apprenticeships” for promising new attorneys.  Interested candidates must develop a project and find a host organization willing to sponsor the candidate.

Criteria for Evaluating a Project
  • The Project must be directed primarily to providing direct legal services to economically oppressed people.
  • The project must provide direct legal services.
  • The Skadden Fellowship Board loves to see projects addressing issues that are currently in the media spotligh
Criteria for Evaluating a Host Organization
  • The organization should have a proven record of service to the poor.
  • The organization MUST have been granted 501(c)(3) status by the Internal Revenue Service.
  • The ability of the sponsoring organization to provide adequate supervision and support.
  • Consider whether the organization has had a Skadden Fellow in the past or is sponsoring another applicant this year.
Criteria for Evaluating Candidates
  • Strong demonstrated commitment to public interest work.
  • Academic Achievement.  Grades matter for this fellowship.
  • An autobiographical connection to the work the candidate plans to do is valued.
Important Dates
  • October: Application due (check Skadden website for official date)
  • October-November: Top 75 candidates are interviewed
  • Late November: 50 Semi-finalists chosen
  • November-December: Final selection of recipients
  • September: Fellowships begin

Past Recipient: Steve Sharpe

Equal Justice Works Fellowships

Equal Justice Works Fellowships

What is the goal of Equal Justice Works?

The focus of Equal Justice Works is to fund entrepreneurial or “cutting edge” projects. How does it work?The student is responsible for developing a project idea and finding a host organization.

Criteria for Evaluating a Project
  • The project must involve legal advocacy on behalf of disenfranchised individuals, groups, or issues not currently adequately represented by our legal system.  It may involve direct service, outreach and education, or organizing direct service on any issue as long as the direct service is on behalf of an underserved population.
  • The project must add some new component to the services already provided by the host organization.
  • The project must address the legal needs of individuals or communities in the United States and its territories.
  • Preference will be given to projects that are designed to impact a large number of people and/or create programs that can be replicated in other communities and create lasting institutions or programs.
Criteria for Evaluating a Host Organization
  • The organization MUST have been granted 501(c)(3) status by the Internal Revenue Service.
  • The organization’s commitment and ability to provide training, support, and supervision throughout the course of the fellowship.
  • How the project fits into the organization’s priorities.
  • The organization’s commitment and ability to provide health insurance and other standard employee benefits to the Fellow during the course of the fellowship.
Criteria for Evaluating Candidates
  • The candidate’s demonstrated or stated commitment to public interest law generally, and specifically to the community in which he or she is planning to work.
  • The candidate’s professional, volunteer and/or subject matter expertise indicating that he or she possesses the relevant skills to make the project a success.
  • The candidate’s commitment and ability to fulfill the two-year term required by the program
  • The candidate’s ability to bring a diverse perspective to his or her project and the legal profession
  • EJW Fellowships are designed to create NEW public interest legal positions and launch new public interest careers.
Important Dates
  • Mid-September: Application due (check EJW website for official date)
  • September-December: Semi-finalists selected and interviewed
  • January-March: Fellowship (Host Organization Match Funding Option) offers extended on a rolling basis once matching funds are secured
  • September: Fellowships begin

Past Recipient: Jeff Gold, Indiana Legal Services & Tenants Assistance Project Advisor

Equal Justice Works Americorps

Equal Justice Works Americorps

This program works to improve access to justice by increasing the availability of pro bono legal services nationwide to low-income clients. Supported by an AmeriCorps grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service, the program is a postgraduate opportunity to address gaps in legal services through pro bono management and direct legal services.

During their 11-month fellowships, each Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow recruits 100 volunteer law students and lawyers—and the amount of taxpayer dollars per client served is only $40. Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Fellows work to narrow the justice gap in many areas, including health care, public benefits, affordable housing, lost wages, protection orders and education.

Organizational Fellowships

A number of nonprofit organizations administer their own fellowships. The organization determines the salary, duration of the fellowship, and the scope of the fellow’s work within the organization. Candidates apply directly to the organization, and the organization usually chooses the fellow without outside assistance. The fellowship is basically a temporary job with the organization, typically designed for new law graduates or attorneys with little experience in the practice area. There is no expectation that the fellow will continue working with the organization when the fellowship ends. Indeed, unless a staff position opens or the organization is able to find additional funding to increase its staff, the fellow is unlikely to remain.

Organizations Who Usually Offer Fellowships
  • ACLU
  • Human Rights Watch
  • The Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellowship Program
  • Find many more in the Fellowship Corner of the PSLawNet website (
Government Fellowships

Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program

PMF is a competitive program that recruits law grads and those from other disciplines to work in executive branch agencies.

The purpose of the Program is to attract to the Federal service outstanding men and women from a variety of academic disciplines and career paths who have a clear interest in, and commitment to, excellence in the leadership and management of public policies and programs.

This rigorous two-year paid fellowship includes:

  • Formal classroom training of 160 hours,
  • Mandatory four to six month developmental assignment,
  • Optional rotations of one to six months in duration,
  • Challenging work assignments,
  • Potential for accelerated promotions, and
  • Opportunities to network with other future leaders.

The PMF selection process consists of four parts:

  • Applicatiion
  • Nomination
  • Assessment and Finalist Selection
  • Agency Placement as a Fellow

For more information on fellowships, visit PSLawNet.

L-STAR Program

The Law Student Travel and Accommodations Reimbursement Program (L-STAR) is a national fundraising initiative that runs in conjunction with law school on-campus interviewing (OCI) programs. If a law student stays with family or friends instead of in a hotel during a callback interview, the interviewing law firm(s) agrees to donate $165 to that student's public interest funding organization. Many firms have also agreed to donate $35 for students who are able to forego transportation to and from the airport in the destination city.

By participating, law firms enjoy recognition for supporting public interest law at law schools across the country. Participating students can enjoy the fact that they are making it possible for their classmates to provide legal services to those most in need of the energy, dedication, and talent of law students. Each summer, L-STAR's member organizations fund over 120 law students working in volunteer and low-paying jobs with various non-profit and governmental agencies.